Where should I start? I have started a blog before and I didn't keep it up. I didn't have a set goal in mind when I started a blog in the past and I am not sure that I do now. First let me tell you a little bit about myself. Over the course of my life I have struggled with my weight. Recently I have dropped 35 pounds. I probably should have started a blog when I was going through the weight loss journey. My goodness, the other weight loss blogs have certainly helped me, I feel the need to pay it forward. Although, I can't say this blog will always be about losing weight (although who wouldn't like to lose just a couple more), it will be about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For me that involves utilizing most of the same things I did when I was losing weight.
In addition, I plan to discuss my struggles with sticking with a healthy lifestyle. As someone with a history of eating disorders and years of disordered eating it can be really difficult not to compare myself to strongly to others. Hearing the stories of other people who have gotten in to shape or have lost weight is very helpful but it can also lead to negative self talk ("Why can't I lose more weight?", "How is her pace that low on a 10 mile run?", "I need to start working out twice a day too."). Currently I have a bit more time on my hands than usual because I work in the education field and I am off for the summer. When I am not super busy these thoughts are much more pervasive. Although I am aware of them and I am able to work through them I do have my days where I simply throw my healthy lifestyle out of the window and find myself viewing food as the enemy.
I know for some of you reading this (is anyone reading this? haha) you may be wondering how I lost the weight. I originally started at 180 pounds in May of 2008 (my highest weight ever). I had just graduated college and I was getting married the following year. I began losing weight through Weight Watchers and it really worked for me. Most of that weight loss was due to changes in my eating. I exercised some but not regularly. My choice exercise had always been running due to running track in high school. It is also a fairly cheap way to exercise when you don't have a gym membership! I ran a few miles once or twice a week. I also worked a demanding job in retail (that I hated) that took up around 50 hours a week. I lost around 35 pounds before my wedding in August of 2009. After getting married, I slowly put the weight back on. I was attending graduate school full time and working full time. By the time I graduated and started my new job I was back up to 165.5. Last summer I started the weight loss journey again. I tried Weight Watchers and it did not work. I was eating too many processed foods and had to learn to eat cleaner. During that summer I began to read blogs about weight loss and I learned about the 17 Day Diet. After a summer of Weight Watchers and exercising in the heat to see no movement on the scale I decided to purchase the 17 Day Diet book on my Kindle. I read the book and it really made sense to me. I grocery shopped with my Kindle in hand so I could use the lists provided in the book. This book made sense to me. Basically, I shopped the perimeter of the grocery store. No processed foods and more protein. This approach worked for me and has been maintainable. Over the course of the past year I have dropped 35 pounds and I am now running and working out more than ever. I believe that everyone has to find what works for them; this approach clicked with me and I have been able to maintain the lifestyle.
Recently I have started going to the gym (a friend gave me a free 3 month membership) and I have been taking classes that involve strength training. In the past when I have attempted any sort of strength training (even the 30 Day Shred) I have seen an increase on the scale. This has been happening since I started taking classes at the gym and I am really struggling. I am still running and cycling and it is hard to see the scale go up when I have been working so hard. I understand that muscles retain fluid after vigorous exercise but it doesn't change the fact that I am unhappy with the number I see.
So...thats a little background on me! I hope this blog will serve as an outlet to work through struggles with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and I hope that it will allow me to share some ideas and get to know some of the people on the blogs that have helped me so much during my journey.